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Donovan the Dog

Donovan the dog

Donovan is a deaf 3-year-old Blue Merle Australian Shepherd. He is a Therapy Dog whose hobbies include long walks through the 4th floor of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he accompanies children (as well as parents, caregivers, family members, and staff) while they’re here. He enjoys providing comfort, entertainment, and stress relief to patients as they wait for their appointments. Donovan’s deafness has never stopped him, rather it's become one of his greatest assets. He is able to remain calm in loud and stressful situations and provide undivided attention to patients, never being distracted by the noisy ongoings of the children's waiting area.

Donovan is certified as a Therapy Dog by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. A therapy dog is trained to provide comfort and affection to those in settings such as hospitals, retirement homes, schools, and even airports. If you see Donovan, pet him! You are encouraged to interact, pet, and play with Donovan - it’s his job!

Read about our study on Donovan the Therapy Dog: Assessing patient experience in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Pediatric Glaucoma clinics following the introduction of a therapy dog.

We surveyed our patients and families on the impact Donovan the Therapy Dog had on their experience visiting Bascom palmer Eye Institute. Patients and their companions reported improved mood, feeling safe, happy, and that they perceived wait time to be shorter on days when a registered therapy dog was present in the clinic as compared to previous visits without a registered therapy dog.

Ways to Give

Support Bascom Palmer Eye Institute's The Samuel & Ethel Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center.